Are your void periods getting too long? Giving your property a refresh might be the right idea
Is your property looking a little shabby? With the outbreak extending the time it takes to rent a property, it might be time to think of giving your space a much-needed update. Modern, clean properties are more appealing to tenants and tend to let faster, so a quick refresh can mean you save weeks or months of lost rent while your property stands empty.
Not everyone is in the position to invest a lot into their property in the midst of a pandemic, though - so we've put together a collection of relatively inexpensive things that you can do to make your property more attractive to tenants.
It's all about first impressions
Entering a hallway is always the first memory of your property that a potential tenant will have. Over the years, the hallway has probably seen its fair shares of wet umbrellas, damp shoes, and keys thrown about - so this room might be looking more beaten than the rest of the property.
Painting scratched surfaces, as well placing in new floor mats will quickly give your hallway a whole new image; and a piece of wall art or an elegant mirror will instantly liven up the entrance and leave tenants with a homely impression of your property.
Paint it... white
As tenants come and go, the walls of a property naturally get smudged. A repaint is always a good idea to give your property a brand new look - but if your property has been lived in for a good while, it's a good idea to evaluate if the walls match current design trends.
Generally, tenants like bright, neutral colours - which allow them to treat the home as a canvas on which they can put their own, personal twist. Using bright colours or white also maximises the brightness of a room, which makes any property incredibly attractive. A good idea is to check the LRV, or light reflectance value, of the paint colour you choose - the higher, the better.
If you prefer to keep your property more colourful, bear in mind what's the purpose of a room. It makes sense to paint bedrooms in calmer colours, and keep more vibrant colours to living rooms and kitchens.
Fix up the fixtures
Replacing the fixtures in your home might seem like a large investment - but certain elements make a big difference without breaking the bank, and give tenants the impression that the property is almost new.
Try putting in new door handles, perhaps to match the newly painted walls in the property. Buying handles with a matte finish is also a great way of making sure they last longer, as they will get less scratched than glossy handles.
Light switch plates are another inexpensive item that gets worn easily, but can drastically change the image of a property. Try swapping them for metal finish plates - it's sure to add a touch of luxury to the property, and will last longer than plastic plates.
A little art goes a long way
We've heard from tenants on the hunt for a property that some houses look so similar, they find it difficult to even tell them apart. This will be a problem for marketing your property - it is less likely to attract a new tenant if the listing blends in with hundreds of others.
A great, easy way to set your property apart is investing in decor: like wall art, posters, or even sculptures. A nicely placed piece of decoration easily grabs tenants' attention, and decor needn't be expensive at all - second-hand items are very much in style.
A small caveat - it might be wise to steer clear of 'bestselling' decor items from large retailers, as tenants will invariably have seen them in many other properties. Don't be afraid to get original and creative!
But what about the pay-off?
You might be thinking: this makes sense for someone who's got a bland, empty property on their hands. But what if your properties aren't in a bad state at all; or if you have no problems with keeping your occupancy rate high? Isn't touching up the property a waste of money then?
Tune into the Tenant Satisfaction Summit on April 29th, where Jamie Stiff from Loft.UK will discuss if refurbishing a property can actually increase your rent yield - and make sure not to miss our breakout session for more tips on how to create a lovable home!